Cafe Vue at Heide
It has the makings of a Melbourne classic: a stroll around the Heide Museum of Modern Art followed by Sunday lunch at Cafe Vue at Heide. The cafe, set in six hectares of sculpture-dotted gardens, has relaunched its Sunday lunch, which ends with a spectacular dessert buffet featuring dozens of tiny sweet bites, such as lemon tart infused with Kakadu plum juice or with mountain pepper-spiked meringue. Every Sunday a guest sommelier will present a wine list to match the menu. It's $49 for entree and main, $69 for entree, main and dessert bar or $48 for the dessert bar only with a glass of sparkling ($28 for kids).
Details: 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen, 9852 2346, vuedemonde.com.au/cafe_vue_heide
Om Nom Dessert Bar
At Om Nom, the Adelphi's low-lit, slinky little bar, you'll find a menu of wildly sculpted desserts by chef Christy Tania. Raspberry Village arrives like a pink fairytale with meringue toadstools and pebbles of raspberry and lychee panna cotta. Bananas Flambe looks like a fireside story with a rubble of chocolate sponge alongside a piece of banana on burning ''logs'' of rosemary sprigs. High tea is also available, as well as ''liquid desserts'' (cocktails). Desserts from $22, degustation $75pp, minimum two people.
Details: Adelphi Hotel, 187 Flinders Lane, CBD, 8080 8888, adelphi.com.au
Burch & Purchese
Dip into the artfully sugar-loaded Burch & Purchese for one of its monthly Sweet Sessions, where you'll be greeted with a glass of bubbles on arrival, before segueing into an intimate five-course dessert degustation with matched wines. Darren Purchese dreams up magnificently mystical dishes like carbonated gin-and-tonic ''grapes'' with lime marshmallow, lemon verbena bubbles and lime curd, as well as smoked vanilla ice-cream with Epoisses cheese, oat biscuit crumb, prune flesh and rooftop honey. $130pp.
Brunetti's recent revamp of its flagship store in Carlton has transformed it into an enormous, mosaic wonderland of Italian desserts. With a gelati bar at one end and curvaceous cabinets framing an array of pastries peeling up to the other, Brunetti is a Melbourne staple that still knows how to deliver the goods, like frittole (doughnuts with pinenuts and sultanas), custard-filled panzerotto, and bigne di San Giuseppe, full of strega chantilly cream. Take home a cake, such as the chocolate money-bag Bacio, for an impressive dessert. From $2.50.
Details: 380 Lygon St, Carlton, 9347 2801, brunetti.com.au
Koko Black is one of those places you can duck into for a quick fix of chocolate heaven during the working day. If you have a bit more time, the Koko Black salons can set you up with a dessert degustation - a platter of five miniature desserts, such as raspberry chocolate dome, chocolate ice-cream with chocolate soil and coconut passion delice with mango and passionfruit cream. Degustation vouchers are also available online in a varying range, from luxury to premium and deluxe. Dessert degustation $24.
While not a dessert bar per se, Cobb Lane is the first bricks and mortar operation of Matt Forbes, the renowned baker and wicked sorcerer of some of the finest doughnuts in town. While this small, bright new cafe in Yarraville does some lovely savoury dishes, it's the sweep of delicate, wondrous sweets that will slay you: doughnuts oozing with everything from rhubarb custard to salted caramel, glistening Danishes, chocolate, cherry and pistachio brownies, salted caramel and cardamom versions of Oreos. Are you there yet? From $4.50.
Details: 13 Anderson St, Yarraville, 9687 1538, cobblane.com.au